A man forgets because he does not concentrate his mind on his
purpose, especially at the moment he conceives it. We remember
only that which makes a deep impression, hence we must first
deepen our impressions by associating in our minds certain ideas
that are related to them.
We will say a wife gives her husband a letter to mail. He does
not think about it, but automatically puts it in his pocket and
forgets all about it. When the letter was given to him had he
said to himself, "I will mail this letter. The box is at the next
corner and when I pass it I must drop this letter," it would have
enabled him to recall the letter the instant he reached the mail
The same rule holds good in regard to more important things. For
example, if you are instructed to drop in and see Mr. Smith while
out to luncheon today, you will not forget it, if, at the moment
the instruction is given, you say to yourself something similar
to the following:
"When I get to the corner of Blank street, on my way to luncheon,
I shall turn to the right and call on Mr. Smith." In this way the
impression is made, the connection established and the sight of
the associated object recalls the errand.
The important thing to do is to deepen the impression at the very
moment it enters your mind. This is made possible, not only by
concentrating the mind upon the idea itself, but by surrounding
it with all possible association of ideas, so that each one will
reinforce the others.
The mind is governed by laws of association, such as the law that
ideas which enter the mind at the same time emerge at the same
time, one assisting in recalling the others.
The reason why people cannot remember what they want to is that
they have not concentrated their minds sufficiently on their
purpose at the moment when it was formed.
You can train yourself to remember in this way by the
concentration of the attention on your purpose, in accordance
with the laws of association.
When once you form this habit, the attention is easily centered
and the memory easily trained. Then your memory, instead of
failing you at crucial moments, becomes a valuable asset in your
Exercise in Memory Concentration. Select some picture; put it on
a table and then look at it for two minutes. Concentrate your
attention on this picture, observe every detail; then shut your
eyes and see how much you can recall about it. Think of what the
picture represents; whether it is a good subject; whether it
looks natural. Think of objects in foreground, middle ground,
background; of details of color and form. Now open your eyes and
hold yourself rigidly to the correction of each and every
mistake. Close eyes again and notice how much more accurate your
picture is. Practice until your mental image corresponds in every
particular to the original.
Nature is a Wonderful Instructor. But there are very few who
realize that when we get in touch with nature we discover
ourselves. That by listening to her voice, with that curious,
inner sense of ours, we learn the oneness of life and wake up to
our own latent powers.
Few realize that the simple act of listening and concentrating is
our best interior power, for it brings us into close contact with
the highest, just as our other senses bring us into touch with
the coarser side of human nature. The closer we live to nature
the more developed is this sense. "So called" civilization has
over developed our other senses at the expense of this one.
Children unconsciously realize the value of concentration--for
instance: When a Child has a difficult problem to solve, and gets
to some knotty point which he finds himself mentally unable to
do--though he tries his hardest--he will pause and keep quite
still, leaning on his elbow, apparently listening; then you will see, if you are watching, sudden illumination come and he g
happily and accomplishes his task. A child instinctively but
unconsciously knows when he needs help, he must be quiet
All great people concentrate and owe thei r success to it. Th
doctor thinks over the symptoms of his patient, waits, listens
for the inspiration, though quite unconscious, perhaps, of do
so. The one who diagnoses in this way seldom makes mista
author thinks his plot, holds it in his mind, and then waits, an
illumination comes. If you want to be able to solve difficult
problems you must learn to do the same.